Ukraine crisis: Banks ‘hit by cyber attacks’ as government website home pages ‘inaccessible’

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Ukraine’s banks have been hit by cyber attacks, according to the country’s minister of digital transformation.

The apparent distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks came as several Ukrainian state websites, including the government and foreign ministry home pages, were reportedly inaccessible today.

Authorities in Ukraine said this week they had seen online warnings that hackers were set to launch major attacks on government agencies, banks and the defence sector.

See live updates on the Ukrainian crisis

Ukraine has been hit by a string of cyber attacks which Kyiv has blamed on Russia.

Moscow has denied any involvement.

Read more: Cyber, war and Ukraine: What does recent history teach us to expect?

Mykhailo Fedorov, minister of digital transformation, said: “At about 4pm, another mass DDoS attack on our state began.
We have relevant data from a number of banks.”

He added that the parliament website was also hit.

The politician did not mention which banks were affected and the central bank could not immediately be reached for comment.

The aim of a DDoS attack is to overwhelm websites with more traffic than the server or network can accommodate so they are rendered inoperable.

Key developments:
• Putin has gone ‘full tonto’, UK defence secretary says
• Ukrainian president calls up army reservists
• White House says Biden-Putin summit ‘not in the plans’ anymore
• US Secretary of State Blinken cancels talks with Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov
• Australia, Canada and Japan join other nations in sanctioning Russia

Last week, the online networks of Ukraine’s defence ministry and two banks were targeted in a separate cyber attack. The US company Netscout Systems later said the impact had been modest.

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January: Ukrainian official 99.9% sure Russia behind cyber attacks

It comes as Russia has been evacuating its embassy in Kyiv, and Ukraine urged its citizens to leave Russia.

Some Western officials have accused the Kremlin of an “invasion” by sending troops into Russian-backed separatist-controlled regions in eastern Ukraine after President Vladimir Putin this week declared he recognised them as independent republics.

Around 150,000 Russian troops are amassed near Ukraine’s borders amid fears of a full-scale invasion in the country.

The Kremlin has denied it is planning an invasion and claims the forces are there for military drills.

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